9/18/2009 TWTW: "Outlining the Online PTQ Season"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's The Week That Was, which goes live Friday morning on magicthegathering.com.

Seems like the schedule is very US-centric when it comes to times. Another weekend playable UTC tournament would be nice, I counted 3 that weren't in the middle of the night or likely to run long into Monday morning, especially since in the UK we barely get any PTQs as it is (we certainly don't get 16 per season)

I agree that this shedule doesn't count nonUS time zones. For example in Asia (Japan, Korea, China, Far East of Russia) online PTQ's starts in Friday morning and Monday night. Thats mean if U have job u must say goodbye to online PTQ's. The PMT morning or lunch Saturday is best time for all time zones.

1. "So from the start of the first shootout to the Top 8 Finals would be from 14–16 hours. Fortunately, playing from home makes taking breaks easy!"



This is an eye-roller in itself, but remember also that if you do make the Top 8 and actually make the finals, you're looking at another 4 hours.


2. I haven't done the math, but the prize support looks pretty crumby considering they've planned for upwards of 1536 players, and it doesn't scale.
















1Pro Tour–San Diego Invitation
San Diego Superdraft Invitation
236 digital boosters
3 – 427 digital boosters
5 – 818 digital boosters
9 – 169 digital boosters
17 - 326 digital boosters
33 – 643 digital boosters

 


3. Superdraft instead of Flight voucher: Sure, cool; but tell it like it is:


"Each participant will win a minimum of a $1000..."


(Small print: And maximum!)


PRIZE SUPPORT: Prizes paid as follows:














PlacePrize
1$1,000 & 36 digital boosters
2$1,000 & 27 digital boosters
3-4$1,000 & 18 digital boosters
5-8$1,000 & 12 digital boosters
9-16$1,000 & 6 digital boosters

 


Online PTQs are a great idea and a long time coming. It's a shame the execution is so cautious and downright miserly. 20 hour PTQs? Come on. You basically have to be a degenerate to compete. How's that for retention and acquisition?


Once the idea is stress-tested, I don't see why every 512 firing a new PTQ, and fixing it at 9-rounds (and a reasonable ~12 hours including Top8) wouldn't work. Surely 512 is enough to pay for the slot and the meager prize support? Would players would still go to PTQs to compete in fields of ~200 instead of 512...?

"Fortunately, playing from home makes taking breaks easy!"


um.... IF they decided to program an ALARM for round starts into MTGO this might be true. However, you have to sit in front of your computer and wait for the next round as if you take a break over ten minutes you might just miss the start of the round... which is even more of an issue with the lower round timers....


oh and if you are like me.... You need to make sure you aren't actually logged out (with no notification) occasionally as you just might have been dropped with no warning... I'm not sure if this is a problem with MTGO or with my service provider... but the lack of any sort of notification of a lost connection is certainly a Wotc fixable problem....


I hope Wotc works on fixing these two issues STAT.

Calavera on MTGO I collect Zendikar Foil Basic lands. Trade me yours! Things that I want to see changed on MTGO: 1: 64 man drafts added to rotation of Events. 2: Visual/Audible Notification of disconnect, deckbuild/afk time expiring and round starts. 3: Prize Payouts as close to draft sets as possible. 4: Rotate Classic draft queues monthly! 5: MOCS level events for Classic/Pauper 6: Power 9! 7: Award Promo Cards for Constructed PEs (esp for Legacy/Classic) 8: Program Split option back in! 9: Set Favorite version in deck editor (i.e. always use x swamp) 10: Better sorting of gold cards in deck editor. 11: Bring leagues Back!


Seems like the schedule is very US-centric when it comes to times. Another weekend playable UTC tournament would be nice, I counted 3 that weren't in the middle of the night or likely to run long into Monday morning, especially since in the UK we barely get any PTQs as it is (we certainly don't get 16 per season)




Not counting that the majority of the PTQs is on Sunday, the day that here in Italy , and in a vast part of other non American country, is used for physical PTQs. 

This is probably some of the worst prize support I have ever seen for a Magic Online tournament. If you consider that you might be getting 700-1000 players and you're only paying out to the top 64 that's pathetic. Maybe you should set it up so that anyone that makes it past the shootout automatically gets a prize and then work from there.

I understand all the points being made about how there needs to be changes in the online PTQ format but everyone needs to remember that this is the very first time that this is being done.


 


Its really more of a privilege than a right to have online PTQs.  Maybe when these go bad and the turnout is not what was expected they will change the prize payouts, tournament length/start times, etc.


 


Either way its great for players that can't make it to an IRL event and would still like to compete competitively.


This is probably some of the worst prize support I have ever seen for a Magic Online tournament. If you consider that you might be getting 700-1000 players and you're only paying out to the top 64 that's pathetic. Maybe you should set it up so that anyone that makes it past the shootout automatically gets a prize and then work from there.




I've decided to turn off the part of my brain that enjoys this game and focus on the part that has a degree in Marketing.  In short, I've decided to become evil.


Therefore, I am curious to see how tightly WotC can squeeze customers' heads untl they realize that they don't have to play.  Make a chase mythic to drive sales.  Reduce tournament payouts.  Raise entrance fees.  Sell sets full of cards players don't need knowing that they'll buy to chase the few that they do.


Could they get away with 50 tix to enter an online PTQ?  Maybe - you are saving money over RL by not driving.


Could they reduce the cash incentive from $1000 to $800?  I think so - the lure is the PT itself.


Why not increase reprints in every set?  A few new mechanics are all that's required to make draft interesting, and staple reprints make that more stable.


I think they should do all of these things and more.  MTGO needs a monthly fee like MMORPGs, in addition to tournament fees and card sales.  Booster packs should count the tips card as one of the 15.  Replace an uncommon this time.  Up the Mythic count to 20 mythics in a large set and 15 in a small one.   (As long as the rest are "Timmy" and "Johnny" cards that Timmies and Johnnies never seem to be clamoring over.)


But I'm just a novice.  To crank up the evil, let's hire a casino expert.  It's a science and an art form seeing how low you can reduce a payout by disguising it.  No one would use a bill changer that gives 3 quarters for a dollar, but they'll pump money in a slot machine with a 75% payout.  Done right, a reintroduction of U2 and C3 rarities could obfuscate quite a bit. Maybe even R1/R2 and M1/M2 (with a commensurate increase in set sizes, of course).  Get an expert on that.  You can even claim it's to improve draft experiences.


And let's do more with qualifier structures.  Shootouts to qualify for the PTQ to qualify for the PT?  Just 3 tiers?  How about some Trials for the shootouts, to earn a 2-round bye?  That's pretty good, it means you only need 3 wins in the shootout.  So good these trials don't need prizes of their own.


I've got all kinds of evil ideas.  But I tip my hat to the experts at Hasbro.   PT Barnum would agree that there's a potential Magic player born every minute, and I can't wait to see how you get them next.

If you're on MTGO check out the Free Events via PDCMagic and Gatherling.

Other games you should try:
DC Universe Online - action-based MMO.  Free to play.  Surprisingly well-designed combat and classes.

Planetside 2 - Free to play MMO-meets-FPS and the first shooter I've liked in ages.
Simunomics - Free-to-play economy simulation game.

I recently joined MTGO. I have been tempted to play in a regular 8 man draft which they say should last around 3 hours but have not found the time for it. It is very unlikely that I would play in an event that took longer then 4 hours. I don't ever like to say never but I am self employed, married & we have a 6 year old boy. Prolly not going to happen any time soon.


Honestly they should schedule the matches at very specific time & stick by that. So if your first match starts @ 9:00 am you know your next match will be @ 10:00 am on the dot. Maybe you guys are already doing that.


As for prize support I would hope that you guys are giving some prize to everyone. It could be a virtual promo card of some sorts.


I really have enjoyed watching others play on MTGO. Being that I am new to MTG & a babe to MTGO I love just going into a random room & seeing what others are playing. I hope that during PTQ's players far & wide will be able to come & watch at their leisure. Having feature matches watchable would be ideal. You could count on me coming to watch in my spare time.


Anyhoo. I think that it will be good for those players that are ultra competitive.


More importantly when are you guys going to making it possible to do Rotisserie draft, Type 4, Winston draft or better yet cube drafting on mtgo? I would guess the problem would be the fact that u have to make it so that the cards go back to the owner of the cube. You guys could do that couldn't you?


Thanks,


Joe

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